Secoriea Turner shooting: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms's response to death of 8-year-old 'despicable'
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has come under fire for her statements in the aftermath of the July 4 shooting that claimed the lives of an 8-year-old girl and two others. At least 24 people were shot in and around metro Atlanta overnight on July 4 into the next evening.The shooting happened near the same location, Wendy's outlet as the deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta Police in June. The girl, identified by police as Secoriea Turner, was riding in a car with her mother and another adult when a group fired multiple times at the vehicle, hitting the girl.
Bottoms said the family had been trying to get around barriers outside Wendy’s just before the shooting, according to WSB TV. “At the point that an 8-year-old baby is killed, the discussions have ended,” Bottoms said, in announcing that the city will no longer negotiate with protesters and will clear the area. On July 5, Bottoms said protesters could no longer occupy the Wendy’s at a news conference. “Now we are demanding action for Secoriea Turner, and all other people who were shot in Atlanta last night,” Bottoms said during the conference. She continued, "These aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta. These are members of the community shooting each other."
Bottoms continued, "We have talked about this movement that’s happening across America in this moment in time where we have the ears and interests of people across this country and across this globe who are saying they want to see change. But the difference in this moment in time and the Civil Rights movement, the Civil Rights movement -- it was a defined common enemy. So we’re fighting the enemy within when we are shooting each other up on our streets and the city." She added, "You shot and killed a baby. And it wasn’t one shooter. There were at least two shooters. An 8-year-old baby. And you want people to take us seriously. And you don't want us to lose this movement, then we can't lose each other in this."
Bottoms went on to say, "And there are peaceful demonstrators across this city and across this country, and I applaud them and I thank them for being peaceful and for honoring the lives of so many people who have been killed in America because of injustice. That's an important movement that’s happening. But this random wild-wild West shoot-'em-up because you can, has gotta stop. It has to stop."
Many took to social media to express disappointment with Bottoms' statements, especially when she said, "You can't blame this on police officers. It's about people who shot a baby in a car. We're doing each other more harm than any officer on this force."
A user tweeted, "After a terrible night of shootings in Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms uses the death of a child to lecture Black people with the white supremacist idea that 'Black-on-Black violence' means you can't complain about systemic racism. It's despicable, but unsurprising from her." Another wrote, "Black politicians will draw from white supremacist talking points when need be. They can work just as hard (if not harder) to blame Black people and preserve state violence because they do not actually consider it a problem. The problem is always Black people." They continued, "Keisha Lance Bottoms really used a child's death to defend police brutality and it's beyond outrageous. It's actually infuriating and it tells you what she truly thinks of Black people in her heart."
A user opined, "Rest in [peace] to baby girl... but Keisha couldn’t WAIT to deflect some energy off of her police department. That 'You can’t blame the police officers' was completely uncalled for." Another shared, "Alright Keisha lets get it straight. You can't blame it on cops, cause it wasn't a cop who shot her. But that doesn't mean you can say shxt like that and expect it be acceptable. The girl was black and you're using an [anti-Black] statement. Get it together."